Taking Care of Tenants When Investing in Real Estate

You could find renters in a few different investment submarkets. Long-term investing in real estate through purchasing and renting buildings out is one strategy. The other scenario is a subject-to-purchase of a home. To learn about iganony viewer, click here.

I’m going to give you the chance to benefit from my blunders. Unfortunately, all of them included tenants. I started by purchasing many homes on a subject-to basis; I still own most of these properties and am selling off a portion.

Before beginning the screening process, it is essential to prepare well. For a subject-to-sale, we take over the mortgage on the property. You get a deed to the place signed over to you. They hand you the keys to the house. It’s a significant investment or a place to call home. But before you jump into a bargain, it’s essential to consider your options. Rent-to-own agreements, often known as lease options, are a popular exit strategy. This type of tenant pays all their rent in one large sum before moving in. Just requiring a security deposit isn’t fair. It would help if you asked for a minimum of $4,000 to $5,000 from these people right now as an option deposit. This ensures their ability to acquire the property at any moment. They are essentially paying it in advance to guarantee that they will receive that rate at that time.

It’s tempting to go with whoever has the most significant initial choice deposit. Suppose there are two potential customers. One can afford a $7,000 down payment, has bad credit, has been evicted multiple times, but promises to be reliable about paying rent. The second individual, meanwhile, has merely $4,000 and a perfect track record. Having a deadbeat tenant can quickly eat up that extra $3,000. Between legal bills, court costs, and missed mortgage payments, choosing the person offering $4,000 may be better.

Before letting someone into your home, you can do extensive renter background checks on various websites. The website requires me to input their name, the addresses of their most recent two or three residences, and their social security number. I can find out in seconds if they have ever been evicted or taken to court for being late on rent or other payments. There have been people I’ve checked online who showed up as having been expelled three times in one year. Tenant vetting is crucial.

A retail credit check or criminal history check is also available. Tenants’ poor credit is the norm, so please plan accordingly. That is why they have chosen to rent from you. They are either inadequate or have poor credit.

You should contact their previous landlord as well. I would call the previous landlord and give them the incorrect amount (say, $825) to get them to move out. I will inform them that one of your tenants recently applied to rent one of my properties. They told me their rent was $875 per month, so I’ll let them know. Then I’ll check to see whether I’m right. If the landlord doesn’t respond with “No, they are paying $825 a month for rent,” I will be very disappointed. Why? Because I have my doubts that they are renting a house from these folks, therefore I want to be sure. If I call the number they gave me, how can I be sure it isn’t their cousin they’ve instructed to pose as my landlord? I could perhaps misspell the address. I need reassurance that they haven’t missed any critical details since setting up their cousin to do this.

You should also check their work status. Call their place of employment if they claim to be there. Typically, they are only able to check details. The employee can respond with a “yes” or “no” after you’ve announced their name and salary. In most cases, they can tell you whether or not they anticipate the prospective renter staying for at least two years.

I also like to forget something or leave a piece of paper out of the screening process. Find an excuse to pay them a visit in their current residence and engage in conversation. It would help if you verified their residency status. The condition of the house is more significant to you. Within two weeks, your place will look identical to its current home, regardless of its condition.

I’ve seen individuals take a spotless house with brand-new carpeting, freshly painted walls, and a spotless kitchen and transform it into a disaster zone in as little as six weeks. After only a few weeks, I’ve had to evict tenants. Two or three feet of debris from one tenant’s possessions litter the flooring of every room. Because there was so much pee in the carpets, mold grew on the walls. A neighbor told me they had a menagerie of animals, including several cats, dogs, and rabbits. It took me a few tries to find a business to come to clean the carpets after they were ruined. We also used an enormous dumpster to get rid of all the rubbish. Take caution. Visit them and see how other people live. Don’t vanish as soon as they’ve moved in, either. Stop by every once in a while to say hi. You should be able to inspect the home with 24 hours’ notice, according to the terms of your contract. Even if you find a reliable renter who pays on time and seems like a sweetheart, they could trash your property. Please visit and have a look.

You should avoid making assumptions about people’s ages and prevent discrimination. But verifying their age is acceptable by asking if they’re over 21. You’re not allowed to judge someone unfairly because of who they are or their beliefs, but you can if they lied to you.

Also, initially, be harsh with these individuals. Some people are experts at avoiding rent. They’ve mastered the system and found all the cracks in it. A certified eviction notice shall be delivered on the sixth of the month if rent is still overdue as of the fifth of the month. I was too kind to my first tenant, so I knew the hard way. Both my mortgage payment and her rent were $2,200 per month. She had a successful initial few months, but as a mortgage broker, she eventually went under when the sector collapsed. She’d phone to vent, and I’d tell her I understood and appreciated her effort. I was Mr. Nice Guy, falling for her claims and lies, and before I knew it, the 1st and the 15th had come and gone, and she still had not been paid. I had to take legal action to remove her from the property and continue paying the mortgage afterward. If they are late, you clarify that you will not take nonsense from them.

Now I tell individuals immediately that they will love me if they pay me on time. I promise to be an excellent landlord. I warn them that their hatred for me will increase if they don’t pay the rent. That’s what I tell them, too. I hope to put a little fear into them. I promise to be a reliable landlord. I shall be there to assist them in any way I can. If they are serious about purchasing, I can help them locate a mortgage broker. For the right person, I will make a lot of sacrifices. They are responsible for the upkeep of my property. It would help if you approached things with that mindset right now. Tell them you won’t be taking “it” away from them. Don’t just threaten to evict a tenant with a letter from an attorney if they don’t leave after you’ve given them the proper notice and that date has passed without them moving out. To win this game with these people, you need to show that you’re serious. It will prevent many issues down the road. Getting rid of some terrible tenants has kept me up at night more times than I can count.

In addition, you should recognize your excellent tenants. Offer them a visit and look around to see if there is anything you can improve for them, or offer them a $50 gift certificate to Jewel or somewhere else. Why not just come out and say you’re putting in ceiling fans for all three bedrooms if there aren’t any already? You’ll win their undying adoration. And if they adore you, they’re more likely to offer you a lease renewal. It would help if you did all it takes to maintain them as tenants. Have fun!

Nick Cifonie invests in real estate full-time in addition to serving as a coach and mentor. Nick hosts [], where you can get a free subscription and access dozens of instructional videos on real estate investing.

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